The United States will enter six of the seven 2013 U.S. Open Greco-Roman champions on a talented team that will compete at the 2013 Curby Cup at Lyons Township High School in LaGrange, Ill. on Saturday, May 11.
The United States will take on the national teams of Hungary, Lithuania and Serbia in a world-class international Greco-Roman wrestling event.
The event is held in honor of the late Jacob Curby, a Greco-Roman Team USA member who unexpectedly passed away at the age of 25 in January 2010. It will be a showcase competition as part of World Wrestling Month, which was declared by the international wrestling federation FILA.
The U.S. team will be led by a pair of local Chicago-area wrestling stars, 2012 Olympian Ellis Coleman (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC) at 66 kg/145.5 lbs. and two-time U.S. World Team member Joe Betterman (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army) at 60 kg/132 lbs. Both were 2013 U.S. Open national champions in Las Vegas, Nev. earlier this month.
Coleman competed for nationally respected Oak Park-River Forest High School and its legendary coach Mike Powell. He spent time with USOEC Northern Michigan University program, before moving to the U.S. Olympic Training Center. He is well known for his extraordinary "Flying Squirrel" move which became a sensation on ESPN and YouTube.
Betterman went to Chicago Lakeview High School, before going to USOEC Northern Michigan University program, then the U.S. Olympic Training Center. Betterman joined the Army World Class Athlete Program this year.
Olympians competing for Team USA at the Curby Cup include Coleman, two-time Olympian Spenser Mango (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army) at 55 kg/121 lbs. and 2012 Olympian Ben Provisor (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC) at 74 kg/163 lbs. Mango and Provisor were also 2013 U.S. Open champions.
Two of the U.S. athletes are from the neighboring state of Wisconsin. Provisor wrestled at Stevens Point High School, where he was mentored by World champion and three-time Olympian Dennis Hall. 2013 U.S. Open champion David Arendt (Camp Lejeune, N.C./U.S. Marines), competing at 120 kg/264.5 lbs., is a Wisconsin native, hailing from Port Washington High School. Arendt was out of wrestling for many years while he was serving his nation in Afghanistan. He was the first U.S. Marine wrestler to win the U.S. Open in more than a decade.
Rounding out the U.S. team are two-time U.S. Open champion Jordan Holm (Minneapolis, Minn./Minnesota Storm) at 84 kg/185 lbs. and Marcus Finau (Ewa Beach, Hawaii/New York AC/USOEC) at 96 kg/211.5 lbs. Holm was second in the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials. Finau, who has been one of the nation's top young Greco-Roman prospects, placed third at the 2013 U.S. Open
"I am very excited about this strong U.S. team wrestling at the Curby Cup. Three talented teams will test us while we honor the fallen champion Jake Curby. This should be a spectacular event. Special thanks go to Dave Curby and the Jacob Curby Foundation for the outstanding effort in creating and supporting this important competition," said USA Wrestling National Greco-Roman Coach Steve Fraser.
Lineups for the three international teams will be announced shortly, but will feature a number of Olympic and World Championship athletes with impressive international achievements.
The event is another major opportunity for the Keep Olympic Wrestling movement. On February 12, the International Olympic Committee Executive Board made a recommendation that wrestling not be a core sport at the 2020 Olympic Games. A final decision on the program of the 2020 Olympics will be made by the entire IOC in September. A worldwide effort has been launched by FILA, the international wrestling federation, and all of the 177 nations which participate in wrestling, to retain wrestling as an Olympic sport.
Wrestling legend Dan Gable, an Olympic and World champion wrestler and one of the greatest coaches in history, is the honorary chair of the 2013 Curby Cup. As part of the event, there will be free wrestling clinics provided for young athletes, with 2012 World silver medalist Helen Maroulis providing a free clinic for young women wrestlers, and the U.S. Olympic Education Center team providing a free Greco-Roman clinic.
Tickets for the Curby Cup are just $10 and can be purchased at www.CurbyCup.com
This is the fourth annual Curby Cup competition. The first Curby Cup was held in 2010, and featured challenge matches between U.S. Greco-Roman wrestling stars on the Senior, Junior and Cadet level. In 2011, it became an international event, when Team USA battled an International All-Star Team in Greco-Roman. In 2012, the Curby Cup featured a USA vs. Georgia international dual meet, featuring numerous world-class competitors.
World Sport Chicago is a sponsor of the 2013 Curby Cup, providing funds for transportation so that Chicago-based youth can participate in the clinic portion of the Curby Cup.
The Curby Cup is one of three major international wrestling competition announced by USA Wrestling as part of World Wrestling Month in May. Another is the Rumble on the Rails, an international competition between the USA, Iran and Russia in historic Grand Central Terminal in New York City on May 15. The United States will also host "United 4 Wrestling," a USA vs. Iran freestyle wrestling dual meet at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena in Los Angeles, Calif. on May 19. Other U.S. events may be added during World Wrestling Month.
At LaGrange, Ill, May 11
U.S. Greco-Roman lineup
55 kg/121 lbs. -- Spenser Mango, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army)
60 kg/132 lbs. -- Joe Betterman, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army)
66 kg/145.5 lbs. -- Ellis Coleman, Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC)
74 kg/163 lbs. -- Ben Provisor, Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC)
84 kg/185 lbs. -- Jordan Holm, Minneapolis, Minn. (Minnesota Storm)
96 kg/211.5 lbs. -- Marcus Finau, Ewa Beach, Hawaii (New York AC/USOEC)
120 kg/264.5 lbs. -- David Arendt, Camp Lejeune, N.C. (U.S. Marine Corps)
National Greco-Roman Coach -- Steve Fraser, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Assistant National Greco-Roman Coach - Momir Petkovic, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Saturday, May 11 at Lyons Township High School
10:00 a.m. -- Girls youth freestyle clinic with Helen Maroulis
10:00 a.m. -- Youth and high school Greco-Roman clinic with U.S. Olympic Education Center athlete
1:30 p.m. -- Curby Cup, preliminary rounds
4:00 p.m. -- MAIN EVENT - Opening Ceremonies and finals round
Sunday, May 12
9:00 a.m. -- FCA Champions Breakfast featuring Olympians Jim Gruenwald and Tervel Dlagnev at Holiday Inn & William Tell Banquets & Conference Center in Countryside, Ill.
ABOUT THE JACOB CURBY FOUNDATION
The Jacob Curby Foundation has been formed to honor the memory of my son, and has as its mission, teaching strong values through wrestling participation, growing youth participation in wrestling as a path to success and personal growth, and the advancement of Olympic-style international wrestling competition in the United States. Before his sudden, tragic death, Jacob Curby had been working as hard as he could to attain the ultimate goals in Greco-Roman wrestling -- becoming an Olympic and World Champion. Jake was taken from us too early and was unable to complete his quest, but he remains a champion in all our hearts.
ABOUT USA WRESTLING
USA Wrestling is the National Governing Body for the Sport of Wrestling in the United States and, as such, is its representative to the United States Olympic Committee and the International Wrestling Federation FILA. Simply, USA Wrestling is the central organization that coordinates amateur wrestling programs in the nation and works to create interest and participation in these programs. Its president is James Ravannack, and its Executive Director is Rich Bender.
ABOUT KEEP OLYMPIC WRESTLING
In the United States, the official website is http://www.KeepWrestlingInTheOlympics.com, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/officialkeepwrestlingintheolympics, and on Twitter @wrestlingvision.
The international links for FILA are http://www.fila-official.com/, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/fila.official and on Twitter @FILA_Official.!